Background: The main objective of this study was to assess preferences for involvement in treatment decisions and requests for prognostic information in newly diagnosed higher-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients.
Patient and methods: This was a prospective cohort observational study that consecutively enrolled MDS patients with an international prognostic scoring system (IPSS) risk category of intermediate-2 or high risk (summarized as 'higher risk'). The control preference scale was used to assess patient preferences for involvement in treatment decisions, and whether a request by patients for prognostic information during consultation was made, was also recorded. All of the patients were surveyed at the time of diagnosis before receiving treatment. Univariate and multivariate analyses were carried out to assess how sociodemographic, clinical and laboratory data related to decision-making preferences and requests for prognostic information. Relationship with the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) profile was also examined.
Results: A total of 280 patients were enrolled, 74% with intermediate-2 and 26% with high-risk IPSS. The mean age of patients was 70-year old (range: 32-89 years). One hundred thirty-two patients (47%) favored a passive role in treatment decision-making, whereas only 14% favored an active role. The remaining 39% of patients favored a shared decision-making approach. Patients with lower hemoglobin levels were more likely to prefer a passive role (P=0.037). HRQOL was generally better in patients preferring an active role versus those preferring a passive one. Overall, 61% (N=171) of patients requested prognostic information on survival during consultation. The likelihood of not requesting prognostic information was higher for older patients (P = 0.003) and for those with lower education (P=0.010).
Conclusion: Decision-making preferences vary among patients with newly diagnosed higher-risk MDS. Current findings suggest that patients with worse underlying health conditions are more likely to prefer less involvement in treatment decisions.
Keywords: decision-making; elderly patients; information; myelodysplastic syndromes; quality of life.